All you need to know about angioplasty!

  • By Team TDO

Why would you need coronary angioplasty?

The walls of the arteries are being constantly lined with a fatty material called plaque. This plaque increases in certain conditions like atherosclerosis. When the build-up is too high, the artery gets blocked and the subsequent tissue receives very less or no blood, causing it to die. The plaque at times may be dissolved by medicines but if it is too big, medicines prove ineffective. This is manifested outwardly as a heart attack. This is the time when the doctor would recommend the coronary angioplasty as a treatment for you.

How is it done?

A thin catheter with a deflated tiny balloon at one end is inserted into the affected artery. Once the exact location of plaque build-up is reached, the balloon is inflated causing the plaque to get pushed against the artery wall and creating free space for the blood to flow.

A small mesh called a stent may be placed to hold the artery in place. Some stents are coated with medicines that prevent the scar tissue formation following the angioplasty procedure.

The procedure may be done as an emergency or it may be planned. If it is a planned procedure:

  1. You will have to get hospitalized and stop eating or drinking 6 to 8 hrs before the procedure.
  2. Once the procedure is done, the doctor would prefer you staying in the hospital overnight to watch for any adverse events that may happen.

What happens after the surgery?

The surgery lasts for 1 to 2 hours and you would be allowed to go home the next day. You will be advised not to undergo vigorous and strenuous exercises and to rest adequately.

Most people are fit to return to work a week after the surgery.